As a mindful leader, you may be tuned in enough to realize when changes are necessary. Whether this is because you listen to your team’s suggestions, the company has a budget issue, or for any other reason, your instincts are likely trained to tell. This is an excellent skill to have, although deciding to make changes and implementing them are likely going to be a team- or company-wide affair. Not to worry; if you’re in need of a little guidance to help you figure out your next move (or simply reassure you), you’re in the right place. Read on for some tips about how to mindfully make decisions while also including your team and their input.
Depending on your individual nature and leadership style, your methods of coming to a decision might vary. However, there are a few things you can do to make the process run smoothly, especially if that process involves the need to deliver bad news to your team or company. Whether this bad news comes from a superior or just exists doesn’t matter; people handle bad news differently, and it’s best to keep everyone as calm as possible as you move through the decision-making and change process.
Five Tips for “Bad News” Situations Requiring Change
#1. When you first learn about whatever bad news you have to deliver, it may be reasonable to take a little time for yourself to work through what’s happening and figure out the best way to tell your team about whatever is going on. If you haven’t yet, you may want to check out our previous article about the five stages of acceptance so you’re prepared for the various emotional repercussions that will likely come up.
#2. Like many people, you’re probably going to need at least a little bit of time to process what’s going on. Of course, this also depends on the severity and scale of the problem, but your ability to move through the stages of acceptance quickly is paramount. There are two ways you can speed up this process: write or journal about it, or meditate on asking for a solution that is beneficial to the majority.
#3. Be patient with everyone around you. It’s impossible to tell what a person might be going through in their lives outside of when you know them; a problem cropping up at work might be the fourth or fifth major problem they are dealing with, and even if that isn’t the case, patience is still a virtue. Withhold judgment while everyone settles into this new knowledge, and you’ll find that people will maintain absolute respect for you during trying times.
#4. Once most of your team has settled, it’s a good idea to ask them for ideas and suggestions. They may see the problem much differently from how you do, and new vantage points can help you to make better decisions. Ask them to take a day to think about the situation and what they perceive to be the best course of action. Have them write down their ideas and then have a brainstorming session to share, discuss, and come closer to a conclusion.
#5. Communicate with your team one on one about their ideas, especially if you want to include them or bench them. No matter which way you’re leaning, it’s important to remain respectful as you create your plan and come up with a solution for the issue. It’s also important to let people know what’s happening with their ideas, whether they are going to be used or not. This validates the ideas themselves, and the people that those ideas came from. Just because you don’t plan to implement someone’s idea doesn’t mean you don’t respect them as a person, and they will be more likely to participate next time if they know that their opinion is valued.
No matter what your situation might be, I hope that this information allows you to better deal with and constructively solve any issue you might come across =). Have you used any of these techniques or others to help in your problem-solving and/or change implementation? Leave a comment or drop us an email to tell us about it!
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